Tips for Increasing Video Viewership

Producing a video is the first half of the process.
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Producing a video is the first half of the video process, having it viewed is the second half, said Roy Daiany, of YouTube’s U.S. Government Channel, who offers tips for increasing video viewership.

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Screen shot of YouTube’s U.S. Government Channel. Photo courtesy of YouTube Regardless of the agency a video producer is with, that agency has a message and a target audience, and the producer has to keep that in mind as a video strategy is determined, Daiany said at the 2011 Government Web and New Media Conference held in Washington, D.C.

When a video is ready for posting on YouTube’s Government Channel, the producer needs to approach the website’s public management team to leverage the platform to get the video out, said Daiany, who added, YouTube’s high viewership cannot be ignored. About 76 percent of Americans are online, and 83 percent of those online are watching videos, he said.

YouTube videos is the fourth largest destination site online, with 144 million Americans watching YouTube every month, he said. In addition, 36 hours of videos are uploaded onto YouTube every minute, so viewers “aren’t just sitting back on their couch watching video, they are contributing to the conversation,” he said. Those viewers find YouTube to be engaging, attractive and social, he said.

THE STRATEGIES

With all that in mind, how can a target audience be enticed to view a video? he said. There are eight strategies that can be used on YouTube to help increase video viewership, he said. Those strategies are:

> Upload frequently; content managers should be continuously uploading content. Agencies do not want a viewer to visit the organization’s YouTube channel just once, therefore, by uploading frequently viewers will return to the site seeking updates, new programs and fresh content.

> Categorize and tag the content; by categorizing and tagging the content, it helps YouTube’s system place a video where it belongs, and that helps with viewer searches.

> Ad annotations, captions and subtitles; annotations are becoming a popular feature, and a producer might want to use them to draw viewer attention to an area on the screen that might otherwise be missed. In addition, if there’s a slowdown in the video that could lead to audience loss, tell the viewers in an annotation what is about to come up to keep their interest. Also, at the end of the video use a caption to declare a call to action.

> Share uploads and channel activity; link the agency’s YouTube account with other social media platforms. That can be a major way to funnel viewers to the agency’s channel.

> Enable embedding; over 150 hours of YouTube videos are watched on Facebook every day. However, the video has to be “embedded enabled” in order to facilitate that, and when it is embedded, it can be a gateway for viewers with the potential to introduce the agency’s message to a new audience.

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> Add a “subscribe button” to the agency’s web site; with a subscribe button, users visiting the agency website can just click to subscribe to the agency’s YouTube site. That feature makes it possible for users to subscribe with one click and stay on the site.

> Create channel playlists; chances are agencies have several videos that are ready to be uploaded, and agencies do not want a user to watch one and leave. So playlists make it easy for users to want to stay. By providing lists of videos that run along the same theme, viewers will have an idea of what is next.

> Use Google moderator; it is a free tool that is connected to YouTube accounts. It allows anyone to submit a question to the channel, and to vote on the submissions. It provides producers with input from the audience, specifically about the type of content they want to see, and it gives viewers a platform for a two-way conversation.

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